Thursday, October 23, 2014

Discovery

I had a visit with my rheumatologist yesterday. I went over some new(ish) symptoms I've been having. My hands and feet have been getting really cold. REALLY cold. They also change colors, mostly splotchy red and pure white and sometimes purple. Numbness and a tingly feeling almost always accompany this. The symptoms started last winter but happened infrequently enough that I wasn't completely sure that anything was actually going on. Now that the colder fall weather has started kicking in I've realized that there was something consistent happening. Dr. A and I discussed all of this and we decided that a diagnosis of Raynaud's Disease was in order.


Mayo Clinic defines Raynaud's as this...
"Raynaud's (ray-NOHZ) disease causes some areas of your body — such as your fingers and toes — to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud's disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas (vasospasm)."

While a diagnosis is nice for me, as I tend to be a person who likes to know what's going on and research things, it doesn't change too much as there isn't a lot to be done for it. And I already "do" the four things suggested by Mayo Clinic in regards to lifestyle choices with Raynaud's...
"A variety of steps can decrease Raynaud's attacks and help you feel better.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking causes skin temperature to drop by constricting blood vessels, which may lead to an attack. Inhaling secondhand smoke also can aggravate Raynaud's.
  • Exercise. Exercise can increase circulation, among other health benefits. If you have secondary Raynaud's, talk to your doctor before exercising outdoors in the cold.
  • Control stress. Learning to recognize and avoid stressful situations may help control the number of attacks.
  • Avoid rapidly changing temperatures. Try not to move from a hot environment to an air-conditioned room. If possible, avoid frozen-food sections of grocery stores."
In addition to these things I also use Hot hands. I've already written a blog post, that you can read here, about these wonderful little bundles of warmth. If you have Raynaud's Disease I highly suggest you try these!!



2 comments:

Suzy said...

I have this wonderful handmade mug that I use with hot drinks that really helps warm up my hands. I use it because I have Raynaud's too.

Blogger Mama said...

I will be doing that as well this winter!